Manchester arena bomb hero says emergency response was ‘all wrong’

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A courageous man fighting to save the victim of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing has said “big mistakes” were made on the night of the attack.

Survivor Ron Blake is sharing his story for the first time since a report investigating the emergency response to the explosion and whether any inadequacies contributed to the individual deaths.

On 22 May 2017, a suicide attack at the end of an Ariana Grande concert killed 22 people and injured hundreds.

The report by Sir John Saunders, chairman of the Manchester Arena Inquiry, which is due to be published on Thursday, will also focus on each of them’s experience of the horrific night of death.

Evidence of the atrocities and the circumstances surrounding it were heard in the city between 7 September 2020 and 15 February this year.

The hearing began and ended with a minute’s silence to remember those who died – John Atkinson, 28; Courtney Boyle, 19; Kelly Brewster, 32; Georgina Callender, 18; Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15; Chloe Rutherford, 17; Liam Curry, 19; Wendy Fowell, 50; Martin Het, 29; Megan Hurley, 15; Alison Howe, 44; Nell Jones, 14; Michelle Kiss, 45; Angelica Cleese, 39; Marcin Cleese, 42; Sorel Lezkowski, 14; Lisa Lees, 43; Elidh McLeod, 14; Elaine McIver, 43; Saffy-Rose Rousseau, age eight; Philip Tron, 32; and Jane Tweedle, 51.

Their photographs were displayed in the hearing room at Manchester Magistrates’ Court at the start of a public inquiry as their final movements were outlined – where they were when 22-year-old Salman Abedi detonated his bomb in the City Room foyer, bordering on medicine. Treatment was given and details of their injuries were given.

Survivor Ron Blake, who used his wife’s belt as a tourniquet on Mr Atkinson’s leg, told the BBC that “big mistakes were made that night” and those in charge “got it all wrong”.

“It looked like it would go on forever. It seemed like no one else was coming back and forth so I kept trying to talk to John,” Mr. Blake told the broadcaster.

“He kept saying ‘I’m going to die, right?’ And I said ‘No you’re not.'”

It was agreed that 20 of the victims had incurable injuries, but lawyers for the family of Mr Atkinson of the acquittal argued that his injuries were survivable, while the lawyer for the youngest victim of the bombing, Saffy of Leyland, Lancashire -Rose said his injuries were potentially survivable.

John Cooper Casey told the investigation that care worker Mr Atkinson did not survive because he did not receive “effective, timely intervention for fully treatable injuries”.

He added: “In John’s case, two issues diminished his chances of recovery: the lack of medical expertise and equipment within the City Room, and the delay in his evacuation to the casualty clearing station and subsequent hospital.”

Pete Weatherby Casey, for Syfy-Rose’s family, told Inquiry: “We have no doubt that Syfy has suffered a great deal of injury and no one suggests that whatever intervention was implemented was necessary. will be saved.”

But he said none of her injuries were personally survivable and evidence suggests that “she went into cardiac arrest because her circulation had dropped below a critical level.”

She argued that if pre-hospital treatment had allowed her blood volume levels to rise and timely intervention could have dealt with the lung and hemorrhagic injuries, she would not have gone into cardiac arrest.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) submitted that there was no inadequacy in its response that contributed to Mr Atkinson’s death and that all personnel who participated with him “assessed, treated, and treated him in extremely challenging circumstances.” Tried my best to get to the hospital soon”.

The NWAS also argued that there was no inadequacy in Syfy-Rose’s response that contributed to her death and submitted that her injuries were also not survivable.

Retired High Court Judge Sir John will rule on whether the deaths of Mr Atkinson and Saffy-Rose could have been prevented.

He will also release his findings on the planning and preparedness of each emergency service involved in the night to respond to terrorist and mass casualty incidents.

Inquiries revealed that only three paramedics entered the foyer of the city room -…

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